Cat no. 293

On the Broads

Running time29:01 Black & White 1963 Norfolk Broads

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A travelogue of the Norfolk Broads made for Swiss television.


Portrait of a PlaceTelevisionTravel / Travelogue

A film made for Swiss television concentrating on Broadland scenery, especially the birdlife. The film begins with interior shots of an aeroplane as it comes in to land and then switches to busy London streets. These are shot at ground level and offer a good picture of London streets during the period. Scenes from inside a moving car, driving along the roads towards Norfolk and arriving in Wroxham.

There is a long sequence showing aerial shots of the Broads. These include shots of the River Yare and a long feature showing sailing scenes, one of many sailing scenes in the film. The Beehive Riverside Stores. An interview with Frederick Brinkhoff, a Swiss national who came to the Broads in 1959 and started Brinkcraft Ltd. There is an interview with Herr. Brinkhoff and many of the cruisers built by his company are filmed. They are distinctive because of their names; Brink of Hope for example.

Street scenes of Wroxham showing holidaymakers buying provisions including some interior shots of the stores. The holiday makers go to their boats and the holiday on the Broads begins. There is a long sequence showing sailing on the broads in many different craft, including sailing boats and wherries, motor cruisers and houseboats. The latter were new to Swiss visitors. At Horning there are several shots of the houses by the river as well as of Horning Quay and the Swan Hotel.

There are many sequences of the landscape and birdlife of the Broads. Most of the birds featured are swans, geese, herons and cootes. There were less then the Swiss visitors hoped to find owing to a hard winter preceding the film. A sequence at Hickling Broad features the artist Roland Green. Close-up shots show him working on a picture and many of his paintings of birdlife on the broads are shown in close-up. The visitors appear to have been delighted with the standard of the boat they hired. There are interior shots showing them preparing food in the galley, of the boat including the bathroom, and then of them eating their meal on deck. The refrigerator and the TV feature and they are filmed erecting their aerial. They take a trip in a rowing boat across a broad to see a Heronry and then after shots of a windmill and Potter Heigham Bridge a crab boat is launched at a local boatyard.

The visitors approach Great Yarmouth from Breydon water and film a passing coaster going up river to Norwich. Several shots taken as the boat moves down river include the Town Hall at Yarmouth and shots of the quays and shipyards. There is a sequence taken from inside the boat showing the rain falling, and final shots of wherries and riverside houses.

Background Information:

10,000 ft of film were shot for this half hour documentary feature for the Swiss Networks. Special permission to fish out of season was granted by the Fisheries Superintendent on the condition that all catches should be returned to the water. (See: Broadly Speaking No. 3. Volume 1. December 1963.)


Commentary and interviews are in German

Featured People:

Frederick Brinkhoff, founder of Brinkcraft Ltd; Roland Green, artist

Featured Organisations:

Brinkcraft Ltd

Featured Buildings:

The Beehive Riverside Stores, Wroxham; The Swan Hotel, Horning; Potter Heigham Bridge; The Town Hall, Yarmouth

Walter Pluess

Robert Garbade

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